The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Is "Naruto" based on Barefoot Gen?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2014 Category: Arts
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 823 times Debate No: 54718
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




First round for acceptance.
My opponent does not necessarily have to know both series, I think it is easy to just view an of both or read a bio of both characters to know what I'm talking about.

My opponent will have to show that Naruto was entirely created from the findings of the author, and that the author was in no way influenced by Japan's obvious n"1 historical-themed manga.


I gladly accept your debate.

You should know that I am a big fan of the Naruto anime and manga. I have also read about half of the Barefoot Gen series and find it pretty good as well, but to say that Naruto is completely created out of Barefoot Gen is a bit too extreme.

I believe that Naruto is based on the ancient Japanese mythology by using names and legends from the past and putting them together in a more 'modern' context.

I look forward at having this debate with you.
Debate Round No. 1


MomoDzjamal, I must remind you that I have not used the word "completely".

The character of Naruto is clearly that of a boy whom loves the world and shines out a happy appearance, no matter how sad some persons around him can be. He'll travel the world, meet new persons and have an influence on those. A good influence, a lot of people are "saved" thanks to him.

Now back to who Gen is, the original figure. He too, is a young boy who loves the world. He can be sad sometimes like Naruto, but also would never give up on life. After he is hit by the A-bomb, he loses practically everything and has to survive. He helps all the people he meets though, and just like Naruto, he does it with nothing but his own appearance and being himself.
Also, Gen's laidback position with arms behind the head is clearly used for Naruto as well.

Undeniably the creator of Naruto has already used many "ready-mades" from Japanese mythology, but I have little doubt that he has read Barefoot Gen and that he was inspired by this character.

It also seems so that in the initial seasons, Naruto is just an untalented main character that needed to be filled up with a strong personality somehow. The author clearly spent more time developing other ninja's as the actual talented/important ones, like Sasuke and Sakura etc. I believe it is quite likely he has used Gen's character to fill up that centered, untalented "hero" of the story.


I agree with the fact that Naruto Uzumaki has several characteristics that match Gen Nakaoka, but you mustn't forget that they are both the main characters from their respective mangas. The main characters in pretty much all mangas start off weak and build up their strength, surrounding themselves with others and forcing themselves through hardships and struggles. That's the case in all of the modern day mangas such as One Piece, Bleach, The Breaker...

Therefore I seriously doubt that Naruto is based on Gen, it's just that all of the main characters experience the same kinds of things. If you say that Gen and Naruto are alike, you might as well say that Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece) or Shi-Woon Yi (The Breaker) are based on him. They look alike, but they are not likely based on one another.

And you mention the laid back position of Naruto and Gen, but I also make that same pose regularly and I don't think that can really be used as a real argument in a debate.
Debate Round No. 2


The fact that they are main characters starting off weak and getting stronger is irrelevant as it happens alot. The unique thing about both Gen and Naruto is that they have a consistent strong energy. Here's what makes these personalities so unique:

1) Gen and Naruto both are characters with a tragic background who stay positive therefore have a great influence on everyone they meet throughout their series.

2) Gen and Naruto both teach life lessons to other people in the manga, and to the reader. What's more, they teach you the same life lessons: never give up, and help those who you really love.

3) They both are young and untalented at the beginning of the series, face alot of bad guys and while gen becomes better at spreading peace, Naruto becomes a better ninja.

Lastly, about that pose: this particular pose is almost never used in real life, at least not while standing. Also, I have never seen you do that pose before.


I understand your point of view, but I do not think you understand mine.

What I'm trying to say is that almost ALL mangas have the same kind of background story: it's mostly somebody who had a tough youth that starts to explore the world around him, meeting people and teaming up with them.
You can't say that Naruto is based on Barefoot Gen only because he shows the same background story!

In the following text I will show you One Piece's storyline that depicts the same characteristics as the ones you say Naruto and Barefoot Gen have in common

One Piece:
Monkey D. Luffy, an orphan, sets out to sea in search of a treasure called 'One Piece', teaming up with other pirates and forming a crew. He also teaches life lessons, because (for example) he helps characters find back their will to live (Nico Robin in the manga) and he also shows an incredible life spirit, not willing to give up for the sake of his friends. He also starts off clumsy and pretty untalented, but soon (with the help of his friends) grows stronger and stronger in pursuit of the title of 'King of the Pirates'. (This information can be found on Wikipedia.)
(And here's a link to the pose that Luffy frequently uses, which is the same as Gen's)

So the characteristics that you use to 'prove' that Naruto is based on Barefoot Gen are very common things that return in many other comic books, and therefore can't be seen as suitable arguments.

Your turn! :p
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent presents proof that my first and third point do not count solely for Naruto and Gen. He tries to do this with one single comparison to another manga.
He also presents me a link that does not work, please make another one.

Here, I will recap my points:

1) Gen and Naruto both are characters with a tragic background who stay positive therefore have a great influence on everyone they meet throughout their series.

-> my opponent presents a counterargument only on my statement that they have a great influence. He says that in One Piece, that happens as well.

My reply: First of all, One Piece does NOT have a tragic background. I have also checked the (Dutch, our language) wikipedia page and there was no mention about him having influences on other pirates to such extent that he would FREQUENTLY teach life lessons to strangers. In both Naruto and Gen, however, that happens uncountable amounts of times.

2) Gen and Naruto both teach life lessons to other people in the manga, and to the reader. What's more, they teach you the same life lessons: never give up, and help those who you really love.

-> my opponent's counter: see above

My reply: I hope my opponent can give 5 examples of moments in any other manga where the character teaches life lessons of not giving up actively.

3) They both are young and untalented at the beginning of the series, face alot of bad guys and while gen becomes better at spreading peace, Naruto becomes a better ninja.

-> my opponent's counter: there are other cases in which a hero grows stronger throughout the series.

My reply: that ofcourse is true, although I must alter my statement. When creating the series, Naruto clearly wasn't making much change at all throughout the series before shippuden. And Gen, ofcourse, only grows with inner strength to help people. Both characters appear to be kind of static in skill, although that changes after shippuden.

4) The pose.

-> my opponent's counter: a link to a picture that doesn't work.

My reply: please give me a decent link.


Dear revic,

I see that my arguments were not detailed enough for you, so let me sum them up again, this time with more details.

1 + 2) You say that One Piece does not have a tragic background. I don't see how losing your parents, your best friend and eventually your brother isn't tragic. One of his heroes, the pirate Shanks, also loses an arm to save Luffy in the beginning of the manga, because Luffy wasn't strong enough to save himself.

And there are life lessons to be learned, such as the one from Nico Robin, as said before, who wants to die, but eventually regains her will to live and joins Luffy's crew. Another example is how he fights against the discrimination in his world, where 'fish-people' are seen as lower than humans. Luffy faces entire armies to protect his fishmen friends, and ends up 'teaching' a lot of people to respect differences and stop discriminating.

The amount of times he screams 'don't give up' is endless. He faces enemy after enemy, saves about a dozen of countries and risks his life to help complete strangers who become his friends. Just look up any blog about One Piece and you'll have tons of stories.

3) With One Piece, there's also a kind of 'skip' that takes place, just like in Naruto, where the story takes a jump forward of seral years, which is the start of Shippuden. In One Piece, it's the same. He starts off as a complete loser, but learns to control his powers a bit during the first season. Then, at the end of the first season his brother dies, which causes a trauma and he decides he has to become stronger to continue his journey. They skip about two years, in which all the members of his crew train separately (same in Naruto), after which they team up again and continue their journey. Luffy learns a lot of new tricks during the second season and faces tougher and tougher bosses. (just like Naruto) Eventually he becomes an awesome boss fighter.

4) here's the right link:

I look forward to your reply.
Debate Round No. 4


Replies to arguments listed by my opponent.

1 + 2) Last time, you have not mentioned that tragic background. Neither is it the main plot of the storyline as tragic as that of Naruto and Gen. Clearly, the fact that he lost his family and best friend was not important enough to be noted deliberately on the wikipedia page. [1] Naruto's and Gens, though, have clearly set out on their wikipedia pages that the tragic background is ESSENTIAL to the story (in Naruto's case, being recognized due to feeling unrecognized his whole life). It stays important until the end. [2] [3]


I would also agree that there are in every manga - to some degree - life lessons to be learned. My opponent has given 2 examples in which "Luffy" was helping people in some way.
He also has shown that Luffy spreads the news to "not give up".

However, this can mean 2 things:
A) One piece is following a certain theme that would occur alot in several manga's, namely the the theme of spreading the word to never give up through a child;

B) The idea of a child spreading such life lessons only occurs in Naruto, Gen and One piece making it obvious that one piece is partly based on either Barefoot gen or Naruto.

My opponent would have to argue for option A by giving more examples to prove that this IS a theme occuring a lot. So far, he has only mentioned one piece making option B the obvious solution.

3) Should any voter read this, then unfortunately, I'll have to be a little bit rude here: his point has nothing to do with this argument anymore. Not only is this not a reply to my altered statement, also the only thing he really does here is prove that One Piece has some similarities with Naruto - but not with Barefoot Gen. For this to be an argument, he would have to prove that Gen also makes a skip of about two years; however I am sure that my opponent is well-aware that there is no such skip in the manga of Gen.

4) My opponent argues that the picture he has sent would be similar to the one I will present now:

Clearly, there's two major differences. Although they're similar, Naruto clearly stands up and has his arms curled around his head. This is the exact same pose like the one Gen makes, although I couldn't find a picture to prove it. Gen isn't uploaded as much as these more recent, succesfull manga's.

I hope my opponent would make a closing statement and conclusion.
I cannot make a conclusion myself as I am quite certain my opponent will still use this round to counter my last arguments. I can only hope the voter will see that my argumentation holds up as there could be no further evidence made, and as I cannot speak of the new manga's my opponent might bring up as proof.
Here, I ask for the voter to be critical himself as I can no longer do it for him.

Lastly, I would like to ask something from the voter.
I know many who click this would be interested in Naruto, but will probably have no idea what Barefoot gen is. Out of respect for your favourite manga you would immediately believe that Naruto is not based on Gen as you believe it to be so good it cannot possibly be a "copy".
I must then make you aware that the author did use alot of readymades: Ichiraku Ramen exists and was used in his manga, the legendary sannin come straight from Japanese mythology etc. Much more can be found. The author DID copy alot of already existing ideas. Therefore, please be honest to yourself and don't vote just because you like Naruto over Barefoot gen.

Good luck to Momodzjamal and his closing statement! I enjoyed this debate.


MomoDzjamal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by baus 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeiture in round 5. Pro relied on on Wikipedia (not even Naruto Wikia) and Google images while Con had official anime fan-sites as their sources. Con's attack was weak and didn't even deny the similarity but merely blurred the similarity across all comics. Pro successfully rebutted all of Con's points by round 5 whereas Con forfeited before they got the same chance.